In the Battle of L.A., the Lakers have hit rock bottom in wins, injuries and talent. The Clippers had high expectations for this season, but with the latest injury to Blake Griffin their playoff seeding is dropping by the minute.

For the past four seasons the Clippers have ruled L.A. since Chris Paul arrived, then joined by Doc Rivers while Phil Jackson retired as Lakers Head Coach. The Clippers have beaten the Lakers five times in a row and nine of the last 10. This season is no different with the Lakers headed for their worst record in franchise history, while the Clippers are poised for their 4th consecutive trip to the playoffs.

But starting this summer, both teams may have a very different outlook on their future.

The Lakers will have tremendous cap space to use in Free Agency for 2015 & 2016. Expect an almost completely new team comprised of draft picks and acquisitions. The young core of: Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Tarik Black and Ed Davis (if re-signed) forms a solid bench for the hopeful starters to come.

And although Goran Dragic wasn’t traded to the Lakers before the deadline, his desire to want to come to L.A. dispelled the notion that the Lakers aren’t a preferred destination.

The Clippers are in a much different spot. Assuming they re-sign DeAndre Jordan to a new max contract, they’ll have Griffin and CP3 as their core until at least through 2017. That’s a nice trio, but to be fair having your core together for 3 years or more should result in improvement. This season had lofty goals, but it’s clear the chemistry isn’t there and anything less than a trip to the Western Conference Finals will be a disappointment.

In 2015-16 the Lakers won’t be a championship contender and the Clippers won’t be headed to the lottery, but it may signal a change in direction for the two franchises. The Lakers front office has been waiting for the 2015 & 2016 offseason for sometime now, whereas Steve Ballmer didn’t pay $2 Billion for ONLY a playoff contender.

My prediction for the 2015-16 NBA Season: Lakers make the playoffs as a low seed and get knocked out in the 1st round. Clippers trade one of their “big 3” before the deadline and move forward.

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Author, blogger, speaker & die-hard Lakers fan

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